SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian government had not given tennis star Novak Djokovic an assurance that a medical exemption he said he had to enter Australia without COVID-19 vaccination would be accepted, government lawyers said in a court filing ahead of a hearing on Monday.
The government submission also challenged Djokovic’s claim for a medical exemption from Australia’s vaccination requirements on the basis he contracted COVID-19 in mid-December.
“There is no suggestion that the applicant had “acute major medical illness” in December 2021. All he has said is that he tested positive for COVID-19,” the government submission said.
Djokovic is hoping to win his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on Jan. 17. But instead of training he has been confined to a hotel used to accommodate asylum seekers. He is challenging the decision to cancel his visa after being stopped on arrival at Melbourne Airport early on Thursday.
(Reporting by John Mair; Editing by Frances Kerry)